On their second day in Skopje, Elena and Maja successfully navigated the complicated public transport system towards Matka alone (which makes me go into another nail-biting frenzy when I think about the possibility that they get lost somewhere along the way) and we then meet downtown after work. My day is hectic; I have tons to do at work, I still haven't shaken off my sinus thing from last week AND my brother and dad are leaving for the World Cup in South Africa (which is a terribly exciting thing that leaves me quite envious too). But Skopje is hectic in June as well, and when we meet downtown and after a quick bite in the Old Bazaar (ќебапи at Destan) we visit Kale (the Skopje fortress) where the girls take note of the gazillion Macedonian flags waving in the city (no, we're not celebrating anything, we just seem to have a thing for flags).
Yes, in almost a year of hosting couchsurfers, and close to 30 guests from over 12 countries, this week and for the first time ever we hosted guests from another ex Yugoslav republic. You'd think we'd get more of them - after all, we're all in the neighborhood, the culture is familiar, the region is not that expensive to travel around but no, so far, we hadn't had anyone from any of the other 5 (or 6, depending on how you look at it) ex republics of old Yugoslavia.
All that changed Tuesday with the arrival of Maja and Elena from Croatia (Istria and Rijeka region respectively, both stuyding in Rijeka). We got excited from the moment we received their CS request and in the excitement at some point I exclaimed "That's the closest destination we've ever had guests from!!!" But silly me, I didn't think that Istanbul (yes, the city at the edge of the continent) is, by a straight air line at least, closer than Rijeka. Oh well,
closest Balkan destination then! And oh, did I mention, first ex-Yugoslav:)!!!